Giancarlo walked to the front of the ship, inspecting some of the nets before resting his hands on the railing. They were docked and unloading, though he preferred to stay on the ship. Most of the men jumped onto the land as soon as they touched down, usually in need of a female presence. The older Italian shook his head, smiling slightly. His late wife, may her soul rest in peace, would find a way back and murder him as well if he ever tried that. Besides, the ship was his home now; his livelihood and life were condensed into the small fishing craft, with the men he worked with acting as his family. He needed nothing else.
"I was told you were still working here."
The voice made Giancarlo start, and he turned quickly around to face the source. At first, he didn't quite know who the man was. He looked vaguely familiar, as if from a dream of some sort. Though how he got into the ship without anyone noticing, even if they were docked, was a bit of a mystery.
"I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but do I know you from somewhere?" he asked, carefully leaning back against the railing. If this man was dangerous, he didn't want to give any reason for alarm.
The shifted his feet and gave a crooked smile. "Uh, yeah, sort of. You pulled me out of the water and saved my life a few years ago."
Giancarlo smiled, stepping forward and extending his hand. "My nameless friend, I do remember. You look a bit different now, yes?"
"Yeah, I guess I do," the man muttered, shaking his hand firmly.
"Did it ever come back?" the Italian man asked, motioning the man to walk with him back to the cabin.
"Not really. I have a few more bits and pieces, but it's more like snapshots from a movie or something. Nothing really coherent or together. I did learn my name. Jason Bourne."
"Jason Bourne…" Something about that name tickled Giancarlo's head, and he tried to remember the conversation it had come up in. "Did you ever find any family? Friends?"
Jason shrugged. "Sort of. More like coworkers, really." He mumbled as his eyes wandered the cabin. The difference in personality confused Giancarlo; the man he had rescued had been confused, angry, motivated. He had been quiet, but had strong resolve and determination. The man before him now was unsure, distant, and if he could believe the eyes, defeated. What had happened to you, old friend? Why have you changed this way?
"Well, it is something," he said with a shrug, unsure of how to respond. He grabbed a few papers off of the table. "Come, sit. I can fix you a meal if you'd like. Though if you aren't living on the ship, it may not be what you've come to expect…" his voice trailed as he moved a stack of papers. Underneath was an editorial column, written by a man named Simon Ross. "Who is Jason Bourne?" was bold across the title. Assassin, killer, convict, and criminal had all been titles used in the article. Giancarlo suddenly remembered why that name had been so familiar.
He glanced up, locking eyes with Bourne. The assassin smiled awkwardly again. "I, uh, guess you've read about me then."
"A little, yes. I didn't realize it was the same man I pulled from the sea," Giancarlo replied cautiously. He stared at the man before him for a few moments, and then relaxed.
Jason noticed. "You aren't scared?"
"If you had wanted to hurt me, I'm sure you would have done it already. As long as you don't intend to kill me, we'll get along just fine," he said with a smirk. Jason smiled back, finally taking the seat across from him.
The smile fell from Giancarlo's face, and he nodded towards the paper. "I am sorry to hear about your girlfriend."
Jason's features darkened, and for a moment, Giancarlo thought he might have undid what little friendship they had.
"I had switched places with her in the car," he muttered. "They were aiming for me."
The older man nodded, and laid a hand on Jason's shoulder. "I am sorry." He understood now the difference in the man before him, why his resolve had turned to defeat. The loss of someone so dear would do that to you. He knew the feeling all too well.
"I can't stay long," Jason said, glancing at his wristwatch. "I've still got people looking for me, and the last thing I want to do is put you in danger." Then without hesitation, he pulled a large wad of bills from the bag he carried.
Giancarlo's eyes grew large as he took the money. There was more there than he had seen in his entire life; certainly more than he had ever owned. He looked again at the man before him as Jason pulled out a smaller stack of bills.
"The first is for you and the crew to divide. This," he said, indicating the smaller stack, "is for you alone."
Giancarlo sat for a moment, stunned, before fingering the money. "Many of the men will be happy to get this," he said softly. "But I cannot accept more for myself." He began to push the smaller collection back, until Jason stopped him.
"You gave me your paycheck when you didn't even know me. You saved my life, let me stay on your ship, and never asked anything in return." The man was right; Giancarlo hadn't required him to work for his food and stay, Jason had volunteered. "If we consider what you have done for me, all the money I have wouldn't be enough."
Giancarlo was shaking, and it was all he could do to put the money in his pocket and the rest in the cash box for the crew. Turning back, he saw Jason starting to leave.
"Thank you, Jason Bourne," he said as his voice wavered. "You know that if you ever need to disappear into the Mediterranean, you have a friend."
Jason turned and smiled, nodded, then disappeared. Giancarlo walked back over and sat down, still overwhelmed with what had happened. He fingered the money in his pocket, contemplating the different expenses and repairs that would now be covered in full. He would even have some left over, though he would probably save that. You never know when someone may need it.
Tilting his head back, he smiled. Yes, he was very glad to have stayed on the ship, indeed!